Hammerhead shark fitted with an identification tag.
A free-swimming great hammerhead shark fitted with an identification tag. Image: Andrew Chin, James Cook University

Three of Australia’s four hammerhead species - scalloped (Sphyrna lewini), great (Sphyrna mokarran and smooth (Sphyrna zygaena) hammerheads - are being considered for listing under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Information on the status of Australian hammerhead shark populations is needed to support this process, as well as other Australian and international conservation and management initiatives.

To define the present state of knowledge, this project is collating and synthesising data on the species’ biology, ecology and interactions with fisheries to support conceptual models of shark population structure to inform the status of Australian hammerhead shark populations.

Results of the project will help to prioritise future research and guide effective conservation management, and will support Australia’s actions and reporting obligations required under international conventions.

For example, linkages between hammerhead populations in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia need to be defined to meet obligations under the Convention on Migratory Species.

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